Rating: 3.5/5 – Fun But Throwaway Stories From Secret War’s Battleworld.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
As the fantastic second issue of Secret Wars showed us a completely new and different Marvel Universe, we’re starting to see all the related tie-ins and new series come out from the “old” Marvel universe’s destruction. This past week alone we had Planet Hulk, Spider-Verse, a new and all-female Avengers book, A-Force, and more. With most Marvel events of this size, there’s usually an anthology title that shows how the current event has affected either less known heroes, or those characters that Marvel has determined need a little more of a spotlight. Battleworld is just that. It’s an anthology book where a rotating cast of creators tell a couple of stories, highlighting some characters we may not see a lot of within the main event.
The first story titled Soldier Supreme is done by the creative team of Image’s successful Nailbiter series, Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. While Henderson nails the art with some great action and character work, the story feels a bit rushed as a version of the Fantastic Four shows up to stop the Punisher who is possessed by Dr. Strange. It was fun to see a FF team that’s extremely reminiscent of the short lived but great Art Adams Fantastic Four team, we see so little of them. They’re ultimately dispatched all to quickly which makes them feel as though they’re just a “throw-away” concept for this story.
The second story is called M.O.D.O.K. Madness written by Ed Brisson and Scott Hepburn. It’s a funny tale that doesn’t take itself seriously, and embraces the quirkiness and ego of a character that’s just one gigantic head. M.O.D.O.K. is fed up with AIM agents who just can’t match his level of power and intellect. So what does he do? He activates a universal transporter that brings in different versions of himself in order to overthrow Dr. Doom. It, of course, hilariously backfires as M.O.D.O.K. attempts to take control of mirrored versions of himself who have that same inflated sense of self-importance. It was the more enjoyable of the two stories and although short, I felt as though it was just long enough.
Anthology titles within larger events are sometimes a tough sell. They’re never really required reading, but instead try to tell one-and-done stories that will hopefully provide the reader enough entertainment to justify the cost. The strength of this first issue of Battleworld lies in the creative teams though. There’s some great talents within these pages and although the first story feels too short, it was still a fun read. Combined with the humorous take on M.O.D.O.K. in the second story, I feel as though this anthology was worth the cost and I’ll be back to see what characters pop up next.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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